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Captain,

I would say, keep in mind that we're talking about young adults. If we're handing bad or incomplete advice to youngsters, really, who have been ill-served by current educational establishments, public or private, or who simply don't have the intellectual capacity to do the math & research in a world awash - and I don't say that hyperbolically - in bad information, why should we really blame them? We don't transition from 17 to 18 from empty to a full knowledge base (or at least I didn't, but that was long enough ago that tuition was still reasonable at the land grant universities - I got out with no debt & $50 to my name due to working and, more importantly, my parents' frugality and looking to the future), we are continual works in progress, and at 18 they're frequently a real mess.

While I used to hold the view that lending money for education was a social good, I've found more and more problems with that line of reasoning. This morning, being in a bad mood, I'd say we're preying on those young adults, between ridiculous tuitions and laws that make discharging educational loans in bankruptcy impossible - it's like a trawler with a net full of cod <mandatory boat/ocean reference fulfilled>. When I'm more equitable, I lean towards advocating the banning of nearly all educational aid (and I say this as a former FMD stockholder), public and private.

Why? I take the position (tentative and contingent, as always) that the flood of educational money into the educational marketplace has little difference from the general flooding of paper money into a market: it results in inflation. The more money is available, the more colleges boost their tuitions in order to harvest the crop. Who gets hurt? First, those who don't qualify for loans. Then, those who DO qualify for loans - after all, they have to be paid off, no matter what.

This is a bubble, which is to say it's artificial and not related to real costs. So what would happen if all the educational loans began to disappear?

First, the students would have to not be students. No doubt, uproar. Then the colleges would see empty dorms and classrooms.

Tuitions would start falling.

And eventually, those shut out of the loan sphere could start going to college without borrowing from Uncle Guido.

Hue
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